Joe and Mike happen to love robotics. Between the two of them they have 28 patents and over 17 years of experience in the automotive industry developing things like automatic door openers and closers. They have both been heavily involved in the FIRST program, and are both members of the Delphi Innovation Hall of Fame.
So, when they decided to start their own company it was easy to predict that it would involve robots in a big way, plus a healthy helping of fun and excitement.
Their company is aptly named "Robotic Amusements", and their first product out of the lab is called "Robo-Basho" - an interesting mash-up of robotics, sumo, and arcade games.
Like real sumo, the robots face off in an elevated ring, then try to push their opponent over the edge and out of the ring. To avoid any difficulty in getting the robots back in play after each game, Joe and Mike designed a small elevator type platform into the base of the game machine. It lowers so that the robots can enter the ring and position themselves, then it elevates slightly to form the competition ring.
So far their field tests of the Robo-Basho game have gone extremely well. Kids, of all ages including some grandparents, immediately catch on and get hooked by the excitement and real world competition.
You can get a feel for how the game operates, and the play factor, in the video clip below. There are more details, and contact information on their website (see link below).
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